FLIGHT MISSIONS

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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CP9 (LEO)

Comm Frequency: 437.505 MHz

Modulation: FSK

Comm Output Power: ~1W

Launch Date: mid-2018

Launch Vehicle: Falcon Heavy

Satellite Name: LEO (Launch Environment Observer)

School: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Mission P-POD launch environment telemetry study

Project Status: Awaiting integration

 

Abstract

The CP9-StangSat mission will measure and record in-situ telemetry data from within the P-POD during launch.  Specifically, the CP9 and StangSat CubeSats will record thermal data with a k-type thermocouple and dynamic data using two sets of accelerometers measuring ranges of ±25g and ±200g. In addition to collecting the telemetry data during launch, the CP9-StangSat mission will demonstrate new technologies within the P-POD platform, including power-on capability and more notably, wireless communication. StangSat will stream its telemetry data in real-time via WiFi to CP9 during launch, violating the existing CubeSat specification prohibiting RF within the P-POD.  Demonstrating wireless communication within the P-POD can benefit future missions that do not wish to develop satellite-to-ground radio links.  These type of missions can utilize another CubeSat to downlink their data and possibly avoid the necessity of developing a complicated radio. CP9 has the potential to evolve into this reusable intermediate platform.


CP11 (ISX)

Comm Frequency: 437.15 MHz

Modulation: FSK

Comm Output Power: ~1W

Launch Date: mid-2018

Launch Vehicle: Electron-4

Satellite Name: ISX (Ionospheric Scintillation  eXplorer)

School: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Mission: Study radio wave interference in the ionosphere

Project Status: Delivered, waiting for launch

 

Abstract

The primary mission of ISX (Ionospheric Scintillation eXplorer) is to study the multi-frequency radio wave interference produced by the atmosphere at sunset near the equator. The spacecraft will receive multiple broadcast digital television channels to probe the ionospheric irregularities. 

The project began in 2015 as a joint effort between SRI International and Cal Poly. SRI is responsible for the payload design and construction, and the interpretation of mission data. Cal Poly is responsible for the CubeSat design and construction, and ground station operations. ISX is Cal Poly’s 11th CubeSat (CP11) and is a 3U configuration, based off the Cal Poly Tesseract Structure, optimized for ease of machining and assembly. ISX is scheduled to launch no earlier than May 2018.


CP12 (ExoCube 2)

Comm Frequency: 437.150 MHz

Modulation: FSK

Comm Output Power: ~1W

Launch Date: late-2018

Launch Vehicle: Virgin Orbit Test Flight

Satellite Name: ExoCube 2

School: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Mission: Characterize ion densities in the exosphere

Project Status: In development

 

 

Abstract

ExoCube 2 is a relaunch of the original ExoCube which was launched in early 2015. ExoCube 2 has undergone a complete redesign of the antenna deployment mechanisms compared to the original ExoCube, and is a collaboration between Cal Poly SLO, NASA Goddard, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Illinois. Cal Poly is providing the bus design and manufacturing. NASA Goddard is providing the scientific payload which is a custom mass spectrometer. Both the University of Wisconsin and the University of Illinois are responsible for collection and interpretation of the payload data collected. The data in question is the mass and densities of ions located in the exosphere, which is the uppermost part of our atmosphere at approximately 600km above sea level.

ExoCube 2 is Cal Poly’s 12th CubeSat (CP12) and similarly to its predecessor is a 3U format- its outer dimensions are 10cm x 10cm x 30cm (3.9in x 3.9in x 11.8in). The satellite has custom payload housing and structure, machined in the Cal Poly shops by Cal Poly students, as well as student designed electrical boards. It has an advanced Attitude Determination Control System (ADCS) which includes two deployable gravity gradient booms with brass tip masses for passive stabilization, magnetic torquers for de-tumbling, a momentum wheel for increased attitude control, solar angle sensors to determine the satellite's position, and custom Cal Poly software to process data from the solar angle sensors. ExoCube 2 is due to launch on a Virgin Orbit test launch late-2018.


CP14 (ADE)

Comm Frequency: TBD

Modulation: FSK

Comm Output Power: ~1W

Launch Date: TBD

Launch Vehicle: TBD

Satellite Name: ADE (Aerodynamic Deorbit Experiment)

School: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Mission: Technology demonstration of passive drag sail

Project Status: In development

 

Abstract

The primary mission objective of the Aerodynamic Deorbit Experiment (ADE) spacecraft is to demonstrate the viability of a deployable drag sail that could be used in future space missions to significantly reduce satellite deorbit times. As a secondary mission objective, ADE will attempt to characterize the radiation environment in its trajectory, which runs through both the inner and outer Van Allen belts each orbit. The project was conceived in early 2017 by the Purdue University Spaceflight Projects Laboratory, which requested assistance, direction, and hardware from Cal Poly’s PolySat lab. Since then, Cal Poly and Purdue University have been collaborating on the design of the spacecraft bus to support the drag sail payload, which is being designed by a Ph.D student at Georgia Institute of Technology.

ADE is Cal Poly’s 14th CubeSat (CP14). It is a 1U form factor (10cm x 10cm x 10cm CubeSat). A unique challenge for this mission is the necessity to withstand an extremely heavy radiation environment. To resolve this, the thickness of shielding material that will keep the spacecraft alive for a sufficient duration will be determined. Finding a solution to the radiation issue has been a great learning opportunity for the engineers on the team, and has made the overall spacecraft design challenging yet rewarding. ADE is expected to launch in early-2019, and will be operated by ground stations at Cal Poly, Purdue, Arizona State University, and Georgia Tech.



RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

pocket Rocket

Satellite Name: Pocket Rocket

School: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Mission: Propulsion experiment

Project Status: Undergoing testing

 

Abstract

Pocket Rocket is a research and development project exploring CubeSat propulsion solutions, specifically using an electrothermal plasma thruster developed at Australian National University. The goal of this project is to demonstrate that two of these thrusters can be integrated into a 1U CubeSat structure complete with on-board gas regulation and delivery system, power storage, and control system. These subsystem components are integrated in an in-house machined aluminum structure to create a working model of a potential spaceflight mission in order to demonstrate the propulsion technology.

The Pocket Rocket project began in April 2017. PolySat completed the project from initial inception, through design and analysis, to final manufacturing and assembly. The final integrated model demonstrates the feasibility of CubeSat plasma propulsion. Future development will involve designing for flight, consolidating and expanding propellant storage, and developing on-board RF amplification in collaboration with Stanford University.